Monday, July 29, 2013

Pink Panther Strikes Again $136 Million ~ Liz Taylors Finest!

The world will always be fascinated by Elizabeth Taylor, her life, he loves and especially her jewels. Her recording breaking auction at Chrsities in December 2010 ( the auction brought in $137 million dollars, higher than what was expected) sent hearts a flutter at the mere opportunity to own a piece of  history. I have always said if jewelry has a story people are much more inclined to purchase it. She was a force to reckoned with during her many years in Hollywood.

 She lived life to the grandest of proportions. If you've watched cable lately movies about her life seem to be popping up all over. The latest with Helena Bonham Carter. I myself have a hard time seeing her as Dame Elizabeth~ Her jewels, and goodness did she have quite the collection! When a movie finished production ( we're talking early 40's on)  it was customary for the stars and the production to exchange mementos. Everyone knew she had a love for gems, and that's how her collection started to grow. She had a passionate love affair with Richard Burton, marrying him twice out of her 8 marriages. She had once said she was " always in love with love". One of her first great loves was Mike Todd who tragically died in a plane crash that left her devastated. A famous reel of film shows her husband Mike giving her a ruby and diamond suite of jewelry in the sun by the pool. He gently puts the piece on her then she excitedly jumps in the pool! I think gorgeous jewelry has the same affect on all women. Without any makeup and jewels she looked stunning~

  This ruby and diamond set sold for a total of $5.4 million dollars. The breakdown is the necklace for $3,778,500, bracelet $842,500, earrings $782,500.

Her spellbinding 33.19cts diamond ring sold for $8.8 million dollars. So much history is associated with this ring , plus the diamond is out of this world. The original estimated to be from $2.5 - 3.5million
One of my favorites from the auction ( the catalog books are sold out!) is Elizabeth's and Richard Burtons wedding bands. I'm not sure the story on how she ended up with both of the rings but they are beautiful and signify so much. That explains the high bid of $1.0million dollars for both of them.

The symbol of both of their marriages set in 18k yellow gold with diamonds

There has been ethically mined diamonds available and becoming more popular since the 2006 movie featuring Leonardo DeCaprio "Blood Diamond". A riveting movie about the living conditions of the people that mine diamonds for a living n Africa. Ethically mined diamonds, which means that the miners have safe conditions to live in and basically don't live in squalor. Now there is a new item that is on the scene, fairmined gold.  This is being brought to the US by the Alliance for Responsible Mining. It is the largest and most well known fairmined company. How it affects the consumer is that it raises the prices about 10%, but the benefits are worth it knowing that you are helping to secure the good living conditions for artisans. Here is the link to the company They are in the process of getting their name off the ground in the US. Once they have a strong marketing campaign in place I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from them and that people will jump on the bandwagon.

  Pink Panther was a rather funny movies back in the 60's about a fumbling inspector by the name of Closeau. That name was take to new heights quite literally when a gang of about 40 people began stealing jewelry from wealthy homes and hotels since 1999.  It is estimated that they have stolen in excess of $396 million dollars. That s alot of gems and big bling I'm sure!  Two of the members of the gang escaped a prison in Orbe Switzerland with the help of two armed people. They inmates were exercising in the yard when a car rammed the fence and the two  accomplices using AK 47's whisked the two away with the use of ladders. The Switzerland guard had no guns. How do you have a prison with unarmed guards?? Anyways the two prisoners are Adrian Albrecht, 53, and Milan Poparic, 34, a Bosnian national. Now the interesting part is that Adrian Albrecht escaped from the SAME prison in 1992. According to prison officials the only visitors they had were from their lawyers. Orbe is a town in Switzerland's western Vaud canton, or state, is not far from the French border. With limitless resources and disguises they could be anywhere by now.. think Thomas Crown but with jewelry~

Orbe, Switzerland where the prison is located

Adrian Albrecht, 53      Milan Poparic, 34

While writing this blog entry it was reported this morning that a lone masked gunman stole jewels worth an estimated $53 million that occurred at the luxury hotel Carlton in Cannes. After doing an extensive inventory they estimated the loss to be at a heart stopping $136 Million!After the theft happened the gunman walked back into pedestrian traffic, with no one being the wiser! Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev was holding an exhibition for Leviev Diamond House, His jewels are amazing and you can see the value in them. It is the THIRD time that a major jewel heist has occurred in Cannes. A briefcase full of gems was taken along with a necklace worth $2.6million dollars. The Carlton hotel is the famous hotel where Cary Grant and Grace Kelly filmed Alfred Hitchcock "To Catch a Thief". Is it coincidence? Or did the newly sprung Pink Panther thieves have anything to do with it?? 

The Carlton Hotel after the theft

Tiffany & Co. is well known for their well heeled clients list and their dedicated sales people. One of their executives are in hot water. Her name is
Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun and she was the former vice president of product development. Ingrid had checked out 165 items of jewelery that cost $2.0 Million dollars. She would check out the items from the store to have them shown to potential manufacturers for cost production estimates. Tiffany conducts a daily inventory on items over $25,000. The items that Ingrid had checked out were under $10,000. She had left Tiffany in February of this year. When asked where the remaining items were she had said they were damaged or missing. She had sold the items to a jewelry reseller for $1.4 Million dollars. That would lead to quite a paper trail and suspicions I would think to as to the person she was selling them too~  She has plead guilty and will be sentenced on December 10th and can face up from 37 - 46 months in prison. No word if she has found new employment in the city.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun

Keep sparkling until the next time~

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A $118,000 Diamond Phone & Paris Couture Week

  Here we are in the final days of July, already! July is also the month where its that beautiful time of year in Paris also know as Couture week. During this week fashion and jewelry designers worldwide meet in Paris to show their custom created an usually over the top designs. The grander and sometimes the more unusual is normal. Great pouffs on a dress, thigh high slits, extravagant beading and head dresses are all items that you'll see sashay down the catwalk. This is also a time when the great jewelry houses show off their "blingiest designs". Gorgeous array of gemstones, intricate and over the too designs will be shown.  Here's a few of my favorites I've picked out~

Cher Dior Emerald & multi gemstone ring, colorful and decadent!

The detail and millgrain around the BACK of the ring? Surprising and worth every penny!

Emerald and multi gemstone dangle earrings, Cher Dior

Incredible amount of attention is paid to the setting, head and shoulders above other jewelry houses

Pink sapphire diamond emerald cocktail ring, Cher Dior

Love these floral gemstone chandelier earrings, hope this style is making a comeback!

Emerald and diamond sapphire cocktail ring, more decadence by Cher Dior

  Bulgari is known worldwide for their beautiful and colorful designs beloved by Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren and most notably Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth Taylor had an extensive collection of jewels from Bulgari. Most of the gifts from her beloved Richard Burton, but also from directors and producers of her many movies. These helped to inspire the jewelry house with a new line debuting at Paris Couture week. This new collection is called "Diva".  These screen sirens were the inspiration, and what a great name!  Bulgari always gets it right. Amazing designs with colorful gems~

Bulgari Diva gemstone necklace (I especially love the diamond set gems, this necklace resembles candy!)

Even though we are in the heat of summer color still plays a part in the designs that you see today. Much time and finding the resources to create a ring or necklace can take weeks, months and sometimes year before the item is completed.  All of the major jewelry houses featured a range of colored gems, in a variety of shapes and in engineering feat settings!  One for example is Chaumet.  Chaumet is one of the oldest and best recognized luxury jewels. Their stunning rings are one of my absolute favorites and worth sharing!

This incredible ring by Chaumet, one of 12 new designs in the Haute  Joaillierie features a 10.69cts cushion cut sapphire and 224 brilliant cut diamonds

Everyone wants to stand out in a crowd and be recognized. This next beauty will sure do that for you. Freedom of expression is a fabulous thing, especially if it comes in the form of a sophisticated and uber stylish cell phone. Savelli a Geneva based luxury jewelery designer has broken the mold for smart phones. They have created an absolute beautiful smart phone, sleek and modern but designed with the consumer in mind, women (yea!!).  It has gentle curves and is adorned with diamonds, 18k rose gold, ceramic (think Chanel J12), exotic leathers such as blue ostrich, pearly iguana and black alligator. They operate from a Google android platform. And so far they come in 11 different styles, with prices ranging from $9,040 - $9,830. One special model is called Black Insane and features diamond baguettes in the top portion of the phone.  This little beauty will set you back $118,000.  Talk about decadent! And heartbroken if it ever gets lost....   How does that work on your homeowners policy?  Just wondering~

In more jewelry news James Dean was and still is an iconic actor and style figure long after his short life and untimely death.  Very rarely do any of his personal items reach the auction block. His family still lives in the small Indiana farm town Fairmount were he was raised.  Which makes his pocket watch when it went up for auction on June 22 in Hong Kong even more special.

 His favorite pocket watch a very unassuming Elgin Standard with gold plate, his initials engraved in the front sold for 4 times over the pre estimate auction price of $14,000. The buyer is an unnamed European buyer. He used to say it was his lucky watch  and had worn it during many of auditions.

James Dean Standard Elgin pocketwatch 


So there you have it, all the best in jewelry news... keep sparkling until next time~